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Ride Around the Lake 2018 – Conclusion

Another year of Ride Around the Lake has come an extremely successful conclusion. An incredible group of riders / organizers / volunteers came together to raise well over $260,000 – these funds will be used to build at least one Net Zero home.  Thank you very much to everyone who helped support this great cause!

Greg Libbrecht – Platinum Books & Five Star

Ride Around the Lake

Just seven days until the 12th annual Ride Around the Lake will begin. Help us support Habitat for Humanity next week. [Click Here to make a donation]

Your donation helps Habitat for Humanity Manitoba build homes for low income families to purchase. All donations make an incredible impact, helping local families gain stability, dignity, empowerment and hope.

Thank you for your generous support!
Greg Libbrecht – Platinum Books + Five Star Accounting

September Long Weekend

Our office is going to be closed on labour day on September 3. We wish you and your family a fantastic last weekend before the back to school and regular September schedule!

Greg Libbrecht – President PB/FSA

Late Summer Lake Half Size

Platinum Books and Five Star Accounting is here to support students pursuing higher education

Unless their parents put in place planning for post-secondary education students will owe close to $30,000 upon graduation. It is estimated 74% of students will owe this amount when they graduate and most will need even further training to be successful in their chosen field. In addition the cost of tuition for a number of specialized professions has dis-proportionately risen in recent years – putting these students at risk for even higher debt loads upon graduation.

Many students fear they may not find a high enough paying job/career to effectively pay down their debt and cover day to day expenses. If you find yourself or someone you know in this situation refer them to a debt management professional such as your financial adviser.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us at

Greg Libbrecht, President
Platinum Books and Five Star Accounting

Habitat for Humanity – Ride Around the Lake 2018

Platinum Books / Five Star Accounting is proud to be a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. This is a great organization that provides a hand up to families that have earned the privilege. These families are very thoroughly screened and personally put in hundreds of volunteer hours helping build other homes in addition to their own home. Each year since its inception – 12 years ago – Greg Libbrecht has been part of Ride Around the Lake. Greg will be riding his road bicycle on Sept 14-16 2018 to support Habitat again this year – Click Here https://www.habitat.mb.ca/events-ratl/donate.cfm?kwofrid=J72MS27 to help us help Habitat – Thank you in advance for your support.

Office Hours for the months of July and August

I hope everyone is enjoying the excellent summer weather we are having.

We just wanted to let everyone know our office hours for the months of July and August.
Monday to Thursday 0830 to 430pm
Fridays 0830 to 1pm

Have a great summer!
Greg Libbrecht, President Five Star Accounting & Platinum Books

July Long Weekend

In order to celebrate our country’s birthday – our office will be closed for the July Long Weekend returning to work Tuesday July 3. Thank you for your business and placing your trust in us, and enjoy the long weekend

– Greg Libbrecht, President Platinum Books & Five Star Accounting

June_22_Blog

Tax Filing Deadline for Unincorporated Business Owners

Midnight June 15 is the tax filing deadline for unincorporated business owners and their spouses, and the official end of tax season. Failing to file and pay the taxes due by June 15 results late filing penalties and interest. File by midnight June 15 and avoid the 5% late filing penalty plus 1% per month on the outstanding balance for up to 12 months. If you are delinquent on paying for the second time within three years, that penalty goes up to 10% of the outstanding amount plus 2% per month for up to 20 months.

Making Instalment Payments to CRA

We often get the question from our clients “Why do I have to pay tax instalments?”

If you had tax owing of more than $3,000 in the prior tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency requires that you make recurring income tax payments (otherwise referred to as instalments) by a specific date.

These recurring payments are tax instalments based on income earned in the current calendar year and remitted to the government, much like an employee has tax withheld on each pay cheque by their employer. These payments are applied to the income tax that will be owing by April 30th of the following year.

There are three options available for instalment payments:
No calculation method – this method is best used when your income, credits and deductions remain consistent every year; CRA uses this amount in the instalment reminder and it is based on the last two taxation years.

Prior year option – instalments are based on the prior year tax return. This method is most suitable if your current year income, credits and deductions are similar to the prior year amount, but differs from the amount two years prior. CRA provides a calculation chart for instalment payments on their website, you can link to it by clicking here.

Current year option – This option should be considered if your income, credits and deductions are significantly different in the current year than in the two previous years. In this case, the instalment payments are based on the net tax owing on your estimated current year income along with CPP contributions and voluntary EI amounts. To assist you with the calculation, CRA provides a calculation chart for instalment payments on their website (see link above)

If you decide to use the prior year option or the current year option and make the payments in full by their due dates, CRA will not charge a penalty or instalment interest unless the amounts calculated are too low.

It is important to note that if you estimate the tax owing for the current year will be less than $3,000, you are not required to make instalment payments, even though you may receive reminder notices from CRA.

If you would like to discuss instalment payments or need further clarification on this article, contact us at Five Star Accounting. If you would like to know more about our accounting and bookkeeping services, click here.

EI Eligibility – What Happens When a Family Member is Employed?

There are over 1.2 million small businesses in Canada, and for many of these businesses it is a family affair.

Many small business owners are, unfortunately, unaware that if an employee on the payroll is related to the business owner, the employee may not necessarily qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. As such, it is possible that both the employee and the small business are paying EI premiums for a benefit to which the employee will never have entitlement.

There are numerous ways that an employee can be considered related to the employer:

  • The employer and employee are married (or common-law),
  • The employee is adopted, or
  • If there is a blood relationship (parents, brother, sister, children).

There are no rules that prevent relatives from working together, but there are rules about the EI insurability that should be considered in order to ensure that the correct source deductions are being withheld from the employee’s pay cheque. If the CRA determines that the employment situation is not EI Insurable, payment of EI premiums is not necessary and the employee will not be eligible to collect Employment Insurance in the event of employment ending.

If you aren’t sure of your situation, either the employee or the employer can request a ruling from the CRA by sending a letter or a completed Form CPT1, Request for a Ruling as to the Status of a Worker under the Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance Act to your local CRA office.

If you would like to discuss EI eligibility for you or a family member or need further clarification on this article, contact us at Five Star Accounting. If you would like to know more about our accounting and bookkeeping services, click here.